The Chocolate Life

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Working and selling our confections in the Bay Area I get a lot of people coming up to me and asking if my chocolate is raw. Mostly these types are more interested in the health benefits of chocolate- taste is secondary. When I tell them, no it is roasted, they would seem to assume that it is less heathy.

Generally I would, feeling a little slighted, compare chocolate to coffee - you really wouldn't want to drink a cup of coffee made from unroasted beans, I say. But I believe, and I am in the process of comparing controlled batches of similar beans roasted and unroasted, that there might not be such a difference in flavor between 'raw' and roasted cacao beans as there is in coffee.

Recently, at a San Francisco chocolate event, I overheard the people at the Xocai booth telling the public that the heathful anti-oxidants in chocolate are destroyed by roasting, which is clearly not the case when you look at ORAC ratings. However I would be very interested to hear any thoughts on actually how much of a change roasting makes, and any references to studies on this. Raw chocolate has not been cooked past 114 degreesF I believe, does it taste as good?......

Tags: ORAC, antioxidant, raw, roasting

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Sorry, but we do have scientific proof.
I already explained this in a prior post. Take note that everything is measured on a per WEIGHT basis! Cocoa Powder is DEVOID (or has perhaps 5% only on a per weight basis) of fat, which has virtually no antioxidants. Most 100% cacao content dark chocolate is about 60% fat. So, REMEMBER to SUBTRACT THAT OUT on a per WEIGHT basis. Therefore, if you want to do a rough APPLES TO APPLES comarison of our 57% Cacao Content Ginger Chocolate to USDA COCOA POWDER, Take our number of 34,300 and DIVIDE it by (.57 x .4) and you will have a rough number to compare head to head with the USDA value reported for COCOA POWDER.
Hope that helps!
Commercial cocoa powder generally falls into the range of 10-12% residual fat (low-fat) or 20-24% residual fat (high fat), not 5%.

The fat content of cocoa beans tends to be in the range ~ 47-53% but can vary outside these norms.

Other than sites selling raw foods I have never heard a number as low as 40% (and one, Detox Your World, proposes a range of 12-50%). If someone can point to a more authoritative reference with these lower numbers, please let us know.

One of the challenges with comparing ORAC values head-to-head is that of comparing apples with oranges. Does anyone else see the logical fallacies in Steve's approach?

Steve's equation (34,300 / .57*.4) = ~150,438 ORAC per 100 grams of non-fat cocoa powder (because there are negligible amounts of antioxidants in the fat he is only considering the non-fat solids in the chocolate). However, to make the comparison fairer, we have to apply the same logic to the non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder (or any other chocolate to consider only the non-fat solid component).

Thus, we need to divide the base ORAC score (80,933) by the non-fat solids component (.78 avg for high-fat cocoa powder and .89 for a low-fat powder) for a value of ~103,760 (high fat) or 90,935 for low-fat). Thus Steve's claim for relative high antioxidant levels for the non-fat powder in his chocolate holds true.

BUT - and this is a big but - when someone purchases the 57% Ginger chocolate, they are buying and eating a product with an ORAC of 34,300 per 100 grams - not the "pure" non-fat cocoa powder. However, when someone purchases non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder they are getting the full 80,933 ORAC per 100 grams. Thus, on a straight gram per gram comparison of what you're actually buying, unsweetened cocoa powder would seem to have a higher ORAC (809 versus 343).

Unless I am totally missing something here again - so please feel free to tell me where the logical fallacies in my arguments are.

Now, all of this said and done, there is an unquantifiable aspect to consider, which is the raw food community's belief that there are other aspects of raw foods - including but not limited to the higher levels and higher vitality of the enzymes that are consumed - that need to be factored into the efficacy equation; that there is more going on than the raw numbers reveal. This makes sense on an intuitive level but, from what I have discovered, there is a lot of difference in opinion about the true value and efficacy of these non-quantifiable (or at the very least, difficult to quantify) factors.

Another way to think of the comparison between the ORAC level of Sacred Ginger Chocolate and non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder (or any set of foods) is, "How much do I need to ingest to consume a specific ORAC level?"

When asking this question it's important to note that although there are DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes) and RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowances) for many antioxidants (e.g., Vitamin C, beta-carotene), to the best of my knowledge (and if anyone knows a specific reference please cite) there is neither a DRI nor an RDA for ORAC. Nonetheless, the ORAC "community" has set a recommended minimum daily ORAC intake at 5000, and assumes that all components of the ORAC score have the same value.

At an ORAC of 34,300 per 100 grams, it is necessary to eat about 14.5 grams (a little over a half-ounce) of the Sacred Chocolate Ginger recipe to hit the magic number of 5000. Assuming that 40% of 57% of those 14 grams are fat (Steve's figures), that's about 27 calories from fat.

At an ORAC level of 80,933 per 100 grams, it is necessary to eat about 6.2 grams of non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder less than one-quarter ounce) to reach the same ORAC level. At a residual fat level of 22% (high fat cocoa powder), calories from fat are about 12, for low-fat cocoa powder, calories from fat are half that.

In reality, there's not a whole lot of difference here (other than cost) based on the known, quantifiable factors. I can eat a half-ounce of Sacred Chocolate Ginger chocolate or find some way to add a quarter-ounce (about a teaspoon) of non-alkalized cocoa powder into what I eat every day. Either way, it's not a bad thing to have chocolate and cocoa in your diet.

The difference in preference has much to do with what each of us believes to be the value of "living foods" - whatever that means with respect to cocoa beans that have been processed into chocolate at any temperature.
Forgot to mention something else...the .57 is our total CACAO content, not CACAO SOLIDS content. And since we add some cacao BUTTER to the Ginger Chocolate, that .57 number is actually REDUCED in the equation 34,300 / (.57 x .4). However, the exact amount of reduction I am not at liberty to tell! The effect of this, though, is that the ORAC value that Clay computes would be a little higher. Also, I am sure that the USDA probably used something like HERSHEY'S COCOA POWDER to run its test. Hershey reports .5 gram fat in a 5 gram serving or 10%, so my .4 figure should be .5 which would reduce the number. It is probably a close wash!


You are not wrong - but if we are to lead on this we need to do more than just publish a definition for raw chocolate. The larger questions are buy-in, certification, and compliance. Without them a definition alone is not going to be useful to anyone but ourselves.

:: Clay
it sure seems like you are threatened by this, since you are now calling a scientific report spam. You should review the definition of spam :-)
again, and again, and again, huh? my count it is only twice in two separate but related threads.... :-)
Samantha, your put downs like "what planet are you on" in the prior post really don't behoove you. Like I explaind in a prior post, ORAC is a measurement of Antioxident levels present in a food...please do your own research to determine this for yourself. The lab report provided proves that our raw ginger chocolate has a higher antioxidant level than cooked/roasted chocolate at the same cacao solids content. Our Ginger chocolate was tested at below a 57% cacao solids content.
FYI...Sacred Chocolate does make a 100% Organic, 100% RAW (Defined as using only UNROASTED CACAO and keeping grinding temperatures below 115 degrees Fahrenheit from start to finish), 100% VEGAN, 100% Kosher, 100% Halal, 100% CACAO CONTENT chocolate bar for anybody who may be interested? It is called "Heart of Cacao". Maybe this should be the START of a "RAW CHOCOLATE DEFINITION" ??
What do you think? The answer is: nope. It is just a suggestion, since it appears people concerned are grasping for a definition. I am happy to supply one if necessary as a starting point. :-)
Most of the Raw Community that may be following along appreciate the other certifications, so that is why I list them. As far as I know, other than the typical, there are no strict relevance rules on this forum, and the moderator is free to delete whatever he wants to based on his own discretion.

Like I explained before, which you did not read obviously from your current question, the raw world has a variance of anywhere from 105 to 125 degrees F -- max typical surface temperatures to be found on the planet at any location. I feel comfortable with the mean of 115.

I don't really care if people believe my claim of 115. I have been a reputable leader in the raw food community since 1993 and so has my partner David Wolfe. If people don't want to believe what we are saying, they are free to make that choice of course. I did this for MY PERSONAL BELIEF, not others! That is the crux of the issue you have with me believe I am in this and claiming what i am claiming JUST to sell, sell, sell and placate the beliefs of others. That would be a WRONG assumption on your part if you think that, and would be the basis of the energy you have "against" me. I personally built the machines. I have to sleep well at night knowing I am telling the truth on temperature. Otherwise, i would not be in this. If it is just about money, I would be doing something else guaranteed!

Sacred Steve
Hi Samantha,
I am responding to your post ABOVE since you must have replies turned off or something?
Anyway, I am glad to hear that you believe we are making progress on this point!
Unfortunately, due to the fact that we are holding on to proprietary processes and information, I can't disclose everything you want me to, so I won't be as strong a candidate for an "INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY ON RAW CHOCOLATE" as you wish me to be. That being said, I can disclose this document. They key to keeping our loose definition of RAW chocolate as high in antioxidants as possible is not so much worrying about whether or not fermentation is taking place at 122 or 125 or 130 degrees F, but in the LENGTH of the fermentation process.
Okay. Time to close this discussion for a while. Things are getting a little out of hand. It's Friday, November 6th and this will be closed for at least the next 10 days.

:: Clay


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